Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

KP govt once again announces endowment fund for artists

KP govt to set up endowment fund for artists, writers

The KP has announced to setup the endowment fund for artists in 2015 but
the government yet fulfill the commitment.

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has once again announced to setup an endowment fund of Rs200 million for the protection and welfare of artists, poets and writers of the province.

Daily Mashriq has reported that the draft ‘Artist Welfare Endowment Fund’ has been prepared by KP culture and tourism authority and also approved by the provincial cabinet. The report said that a committee headed by the culture minister or special assistant to the chief minister will select deserving artists, singers and writers for the endowment fund.

The KP has announced to setup the endowment fund for artists in 2015 but the government yet fulfill the commitment.

‘Artists not on priority list’

Earlier, the members of the Hunari Tolana – KP artists’ welfare society – demanded the KP government to take steps for the welfare of artists, affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Artists are not on the priority list of KP government,” Wisal Khial, the president of district Peshawar Hunari Tolana said. “KP government does not take our issues seriously. Our requests and appeals fell on deaf ears.”

Hunari Tolna said that imposing ban on gatherings is tantamount to imprisonment of artists and choking their voices. “We have planned music charity event to raise money for our sick brothers and their families,” Rashid Khan, another artist said. “Most senior musicians and instrumentalists are bedridden since long but not a single officer from culture department turned up to inquire about their health.”

Rashid Khan, said that during the previous lock down, spanned over several months, the culture department had completely ignored them as not a single step had been taken and the lockdown had subjected artists’ community to starvation. He said that the Hunari Tolna members reached around 2,000 in different KP districts and also had artists’ wings in Sindh and Balochistan. 

“Our society has lost a promising folk singer, Shehrayar Shaoor to Covid-19 a few months ago and despite repeated requests , KP culture department never listened to our cries.  We have decided what come may, our artist’s community would not support government’s lockdown if imposed in the wake of another wave of rising Covid-19,” the artist warned.

But an official of culture directorate said that they were in direct contact with families of the sick artists and also had prepared a comprehensive plan to compensate artists’ community by creating opportunities for them to perform and exhibit their talent.  “The situation created by Covid-19 has affected every individual. Following the SOPs was in everyone’s benefit,” the official said.

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